Outlet Publishes Anonymous Taylor Swift Review To Protect Writer From Threats

While Taylor Swift is arguably a very talented artist, her “Swifties” fanbase has evolved to become significantly unhinged in its defense of the musician — going so far as to make death threats against her critics, prompting one magazine to publish a negative review of her latest album anonymously to protect the writer.

“Swifties” are so well known for their unhinged attacks on critics that one YouTuber even did an experiment in posting mild criticisms of the musician on Twitter and showed the concerning responses he received.

With this evidence, it is no surprise that outlets are terrified to criticize Swift.

On Friday, Paste Magazine published a negative review of Swift’s new album “The Tortured Poets Department,” but refused to include a byline on the article — as a previous review published in 2019 had prompted “threats of violence” from Swift’s supporters.

The magazine explained its decision in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, writing, “Editor’s Note: There is no byline on this review due to how, in 2019 when Paste reviewed ‘Lover,’ the writer was sent threats of violence from readers who disagreed with the work.”

“We care more about the safety of our staff than a name attached to an article,” the post continued.

The review, headlined “Taylor Swift Strikes Out Looking on The Tortured Poets Department,” has a byline that simply reads: “Paste Staff.”

The writer gave the album a mere 3.6 out of 10 rating, summarizing their review with a scathing opening sentence that read: “Sylvia Plath did not stick her head in an oven for this!”

In the subhead, the writer acknowledged that “Swift is the most famous musician—and, arguably, person—on Earth,” but argued that, in her latest album, the musician “can’t help but infantilize the very people who buy into her music and drive her successes upwards in the first place.”

The review boils down to mostly a critique of Swift’s title, claiming that an insanely popular billionaire artist “labeling her next ‘era’ as ‘tortured’” is “impossible to really buy into.”

“In terms of popularity—certainly not always in terms of quality—no musician has been bigger this century than Swift, which makes it impossible to really buy into the ‘torture’ of it all,” the writer claims.

The anonymous writer also declared the lyrics of Swift’s new songs to be filled with “simplicity, empty language [and] commodification” that is “propped up against the most dog-water, uninspired synth arrangement you could possibly imagine.”

“The Tortured Poets Department title-track features some of Swift’s worst lyricism to-date, including the irredeemable, relentlessly cringe… lines glazed atop some synthesizers and drums that just ring in as hollow, unfascinating costuming,” the writer argued.

According to Metacritic, Paste’s anonymous review is currently the only “negative” review of Swift’s new album. However, there are two “mixed” reviews of the album from major publications: the New York Times and New Musical Express (NME).

The New York Times’ review argues that Swift’s songs included too much filler, stating that the “sharpest moments” of the album “would be even more piercing in the absence of excess, but instead the clutter lingers, while Swift holds an unlit match.”

NME’s review argues that Swift’s new album is subpar compared to her previous albums, writing: “Ultimately this record lacks the genuinely interesting shifts that have punctuated Swift’s career so far, from the lyrical excellence on her superior breakup album ‘Red’ to ‘1989’’s pivot to high-octane pop.”

Regardless of the content of these reviews, it is highly likely that even the mildest of criticism of Swift will prompt anger from her “Swifties” — as the comments on Paste’s tweet showed how unhinged the fans are.

One user asked, “so who exactly made this review?” — sharing a meme of the characters from The Proud Family cartoon with a threatening comment, “Come outside, we not gonna jump you!”